By Brad Sears
In the last few blogs I have kind of zeroed in on the electrical side of the rig. You know, battery voltage and LED’s so it blew my mind when Sunday Morning on CBS-TV aired the following. It seems that the first recorded pedestrian/auto fatality in the US occurred in New York as follows. See the connection to electricity;
1899: Henry Bliss becomes the first pedestrian known to be killed by an automobile in North America.
Bliss, a Manhattan real estate salesman, had just stepped off a streetcar (electric trolley) at West 74th Street and Central Park West when he was struck by a passing taxicab.
The driver of the cab, an electric-powered vehicle, was arrested and charged with manslaughter. The charges were dropped after it was determined that Bliss’ death was unintentional.
Note, that in 1899 there were electric taxi cabs in New York City. Now one hundred and ten years later we are hyping electric vehicles as the latest and greatest. Electric cars were as popular or more so than gasoline driven machines in that era.
The majority of the advances in electric use and vehicles has come from not the advance in battery technology but in the devices that are driven by the battery. Edison developed the incandescent filament lamp and for over one hundred years it was the standard. Now the LED and the CF are invading the lighting field and providing useable light while consuming 60 to 90% less power. In the last blog I commented about some lighting changes that I have made in our old Foretravel. One was the installation of a new dining area fixture with LED bulbs.
John Hargreaves wrote: Brad, how did the dining room light look? How about being able to read? I, too, want to try some LED’s but I don’t have the cash to just go out and buy a pig in a poke. Right now, one of the techniques I am using is to connect a chair-side lamp that uses a 13W CFL to a small inverter and use that combination for reading with other lights off. I get 60 watts-equivalent light for 1 amp/hr (+ inverter loss) and I can read just fine.
Well first off John, I have decided that I don’t like the look of the cool white light and after buying a couple of warm white bulbs I am much happier with the light. There is enough light to read by at the dining table.
The use of the compact fluorescent and a small inverter is a good alternative. We have had a set up like this over our computer work space in the coach for a while now and it does work and saves electricity. I have kept this arraignment over the computer work space as it is efficient and would not be cost effective to change it out.
The switch to energy saving is not just to stretch solar collection but also is relevant when you are plugged in. Energy consumption reduction will also be seen in the electric meter. If our government was willing to spend 3 billion dollars to remove 700,000 so called clunkers from the road with a projected total savings of 6 hours of fuel usage per year then 12 bucks for an LED bulb is not expensive. By the way there are 8760 hours in a year. That is based on the clunker getting 15 miles per gallon and the new vehicle getting 25 miles per gallon. Oh, the same reduction could have been achieved without a penny being spent by the gubberment just waiting for those cars to be traded in the normal cycle of things. But that is another story.